6 Easy Steps To a Greener Apartment


With all the attention paid to what homeowners can do to reduce their carbon footprint, you may feel left out if you’re one of the 90 million Americans who rent an apartment.

Thankfully, you don’t have to own a three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home in the suburbs in order to save a few bucks (and the environment). Here are a few guidelines that will turn any apartment, whether it’s a 2,000 square-foot loft or the “coziest” studio in the world, into your very own eco-friendly sanctuary.

1. Change the Way You See Things
Spruce up your pad with some compact florescent light bulbs. These bulbs use 75% less energy than a standard bulb, according to the U.S. Department of Energy but the best part is that they could shave $30 off of your electricity bills every year.

2. Do Some Spring Cleaning
If you have to turn your refrigerator up to the highest setting in order to keep food fresh, then it may be time to clean the cooling coils. Get a vacuum brush and dust off the big, metal springs on the back of the fridge. This one little trick may cut your electricity bill by as much as 6%.

3. Check Your Head
Make your bathroom a model of efficiency by investing in a low-flow showerhead. Provided that you don’t go overboard on the number of showers you take per day, this $15 expense could save you as much as $1,000 per year.

4. Choose Not to Overcharge
Just because your phone isn’t plugged in doesn’t mean that your charger isn’t still draining electricity. The Department of Energy estimates that as much as 5% of all electricity is going to machines that aren’t being used. That translates into $3 billion per year, or $200 per household. So stop hemorrhaging money, and take five seconds to unplug your adapter.

5. Mind the Tap
Do you really need to keep the faucet on when you brush? The wasted water won’t help your teeth and, according to data compiled by BC Hydro, the third largest electric utility in Canada, cutting off the tap can put an extra $44.58 dollars in your pocket at the end of the year.

6. Meet Your Neighbors
If you’re interested in using energy more responsibly, there’s the possibility that some people in your building are too. Make an effort to meet them and discuss ways to make the building more energy efficient. Once you’ve got some ideas, take them to the management. Chances are they’ll be very interested in learning how they can save too.



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